NAPLES, Fla. (AP) — Cristie Kerr and Ha Na Jang are leading the tournament. Lydia Ko is leading everything else.
And with one round left in the LPGA Tour season, there’s plenty left to decide.
Kerr shot a 4-under 67 — her third straight round in the 60s this week — Saturday to match Jang at 13 under at Tiburon Golf Club. Jang closed with a bogey for a 69.
The top-ranked Ko and Gerina Piller were tied for third at 11 under, and 14 players are within six shots of the lead going into the final round. Ko had a 69, and Piller shot 67.
But what matters more to the 18-year-old Ko is all the tournaments within this tournament — she goes into Sunday in position to hang on to the world’s No. 1 ranking, plus walk away with the player of the year award, the scoring title, the money title and, for the second straight year, the $1 million Race to the CME Globe bonus.
“We both had really, really good seasons and somebody is going to become 1 and somebody is going to become 2,” said second-ranked Inbee Park, who’s chasing Ko in all those year-end races. “That’s just the way it is. I’m just trying to tell myself I had a really good enough season this year. I’ve earned what I wanted to earn, what I wanted to achieve. The rest is just a bonus.”
Lexi Thompson (67) and Brittany Lincicome (68) were tied for fifth at 10 under, as was France’s Karine Icher (68). Park shaved two shots off her score for the second straight day, shooting 67 to get to 9 under, five shots from the lead and two shots back of Ko.
“I think it’s great for the tour,” said Stacy Lewis, who was at 7 under and could win the $1 million bonus if she wins the tournament. “I think you’ve got a big purse. Everybody is showing up, everybody is ready to play. It’s going to be great TV and theater. That’s what you want at the end of the year.”